Season’s eatings

It’s the most exciting time of the year when all the preparation and coaxing of seedlings is coming to fruition. There are few greater senses of anticipation than the thought of courgettes freshly picked, grated and served with lemon, feta and mint, and we have beautiful spheres of round courgette and vivid flowers tempting us to make tempura, stuffed, crispy and indulgent treats.

Meanwhile, the broad beans are flowering prolifically and the cut and come again kale is heaven.

We have upped the ante on the herbs we’re growing on the terrace and now have spearmint in pots in addition to sage, oregano, thyme and rosemary all thriving in the garden. By contrast, I have dropped the ball on the micro herbs, and as for the pea shoots – well, I need to have a word with myself. They’re so easy to grow after all, and not to do so is just silly.

My favourite thing just now is the baby chard I have in a large pot. I planted it close together instead of the required foot or so between seedlings and I’m just eating them raw every time I go past (can’t resist). It is also beyond delicious when cooked; almost gelatinous in texture. It’s unusual to find something so delicious which actually does your body a favour, and I reckon they will pick and come again all year well into winter. 

Here’s to a fully flavoursome and flourishing summer of fresh local produce – homegrown or not, every bit of it is to be savoured.

Vicky Moffitt, of Vallum Farm on Hadrian’s Wall, shares the trials and tribulations of the Kitchen Garden which supplies produce to the farm’s weddings and events marquee, and Restaurant Pine. Vallum, Military Road, Newcastle, NE18 0LL, tel 01434 672 652,

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